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Part 2: Offensive Line - 2020 Reload or Rebuild?

Related GBK Articles:

- Army Black Knights Football: 2020 Reload or Rebuild? (12/24/19)

Peyton Reeder is perhaps Army's top returning offensive lineman, but the junior must stay healthy
Peyton Reeder is perhaps Army's top returning offensive lineman, but the junior must stay healthy (GoBlackKnights.com)

Our GoBlackKnights.com series continue with a look at the offensive line, because, as the saying goes it all starts up front. Linemen everywhere seldom see much, if any, action as freshmen, and they work their way into the starting lineup over a period of 2 to 3 years. It takes that long for most linemen to reach full maturity. We’ll start by listing the departing seniors along with the number of games, snaps, and PFF ratings for 2019 and career to provide a basis for judging the experience and talent level that will be lost.

Departing Seniors
Name Games - 2019 Snaps - 2019 PFF Rating  Games - Career  Snaps - Career

Jack Sides

13

701

79.9

22

803

Alex Herndon

12

612

74.1

16

662

Jaxson Deaton

13

604

70.0

34

1,891

Jake Baumert

6

159

84.0

7

169

Mike Johnson

7

112

69.2

27

422

Noah Utely

4

84

72.5

7

109

Returning Linemen who have played 100 or more Snaps

The table below shows the 5 most experienced returning linemen, and we would expect them to be the most likely starters if the season opened next week. Mike Johnson has another year of eligibility and we’ve heard rumors that he may be back, but we’re not counting on that.

Junior O-lineman, Dean Powell has plenty of upside
Junior O-lineman, Dean Powell has plenty of upside
Table Name
Name Games - 2019 Snaps - 2019 PFF Rating  Games - Career  Snaps - Career

JB Hunter (Sr)

12

577

55.9

25

1,434

Peyton Reeder (Sr)

10

548

74.5

29

1,369

Luke McCleery (Sr)

11

346

85.7

15

402

Noah Knapp (Jr )

7

318

71.0

7

318

Dean Powell (Jr)

9

333

64.3

16

421

Returning Linemen with Limited Experience

This table shows the younger and less experienced linemen, including 3 freshmen that we might expect to compete for playing time and perhaps even starting assignments. None of them have additional career snaps and the drop-off in experience level after the top 5 returning linemen is substantial.

OL, Connor Bishop
OL, Connor Bishop (Rivals.com)
Table Name
Name Games - 2019 Snaps - 2019  PFF Rating

Sam Barczak (So)

4

58

84.7

Cody Winokur (So)

2

31

61.8

Connor Bishop (S)

1

13

58.1

Mason Kolinchak (Jr)

2

2

60.0

GBK Comments

The tables shown above illustrate a classic pattern of reloading. The returning group of linemen is led by Reeder, who probably the best of the group when healthy and Hunter who have been regular starters the past two years, and three others have starting experience already.

One of the problems we saw with last year’s offensive line were the number of changes at center, and we would hope to see more stability at that position in 2020. Reeder, Knapp, and Hunter have all started at Center; so the experience will be there, but we would prefer to see one player become the regular starter in 2020.

The three freshmen have substantial experience to build on and should gain additional experience as reserves or even starters in 2020. Barczak’s PFF rating of 84.7 on his 58 snaps is certainly indicative of great potential.

Next up: Reload or Rebuild; Part 3 - Wide Receivers and Tight Ends